Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Youth Employment Agency (YEA), revealed that the Agency has exceeded its 2023 youth employment projection by 16% having engaged 84,483 youths throughout its programmes instead of the 71,500 youths it projected.
According to Kofi Baah Agyepong, as of May 2023, 84,483 youths are working and contributing to various sectors of the Ghanaian economy.
He said this at the official launch of YEA’s Garment and Apparel Module in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region.
The event was graced by Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, the Chief Of Staff at the Office of The President, who expressed government’s commitment to youth employment interventions by initiating policies aimed at providing skills necessary for growth, productivity and sustained development.
The YEA boss, said he has always been guided by President Nana Akufo-Addo’s vision of a sustainable job creation for the youth by ensuring that the majority of them benefit from various programmes rolled out by the current management of the Agency.
The YEA, he disclosed, has been able to recruit 6,000 Community Health Workers, 15,000 for Community Protection Assistants, 1,500 Prisons Service Assistants and 800 artisans for the INZAG Project.
“We still have the 45,000 beneficiaries for the youth in Sanitation Module, recruitment of 4,000 farm workers for the Afarinick Cocoa rehabilitation Programme; recruitment of 6,000 insurance agents, creation of over 11,000 employment opportunities through the YEA’s Job Centre,” he said.
Mr Agyepong also pointed out that the YEA, has collaborated with other state institutions like the Building and Road Research Institute of the CSIR, the Ghana Library Authority, the Accra Digital Centre, National Labour Commission, National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP) to give training to Ghanaian youth.
He also explained that the Garment and Apparel Training and Employment Programme, under the Apparel and Textiles Module is aimed at creating sustainable opportunities for young people interested in dressmaking or industrial sewing.
The beneficiaries of the training programme, will be equipped with in-depth knowledge and hands-on training in various aspects of tailoring and dressmaking including fabric selection, cutting techniques, sewing, garment construction, pattern making and alterations.
The beneficiaries will be trained by big garment companies and micro/small scale seamstresses and tailors.
YEA, he indicated, will support about 40 large garment companies with between One Hundred Thousand Ghana Cedis (GHC100, 000) to two hundred thousand cedis each.
“The Agency will also support 500 micro/small scale seamstresses and tailors with Ten Thousand Ghana Cedis (GHC10, 000) each to enable them to train the beneficiaries. The beneficiaries will also be provided with monthly stipends throughout the period of their training”.
According to him, YEA has surpassed its set targets and is poised to introduce other innovative ideas by creating additional 31,600 job opportunities for the youth of Ghana in 2023. But we cannot do this without additional funding.
The Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Ignatius Baffour-Awuah on his part, stressed efforts the government is making to build the capacities of youth and create an enabling environment for them to secure and create jobs.
He mentioned that job creation has become a major factor in the development of the country hence, the government would not gloss over issues relating to the sector.
Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, said his ministry together with YEA will soon launch and add other disciplines to the modules, adding that more is in the pipeline and Ghanaian youth must have confidence in the government.
The Chief Of Staff, Mrs. Osei-Opare on her par,t cited the Free SHS policy, Free TVET intervention and the numerous business support schemes available for youth start-ups and youth entrepreneurs across the country as key programmes the Akufo-Addo government has initiated to make lives better.
She averred that, the introduction of Competency-Based Training in TVET education, with the aim of improving the quality and relevance of TVET is helping to meet the needs of industry players. She cited the YEA’s Garment and Apparel Module as a laudable initiative that plugs into government’s efforts at promoting the Technical and Vocational Sector as a viable alternative means of employment.
“Under this module, Five Hundred (500) small scale seamstresses and tailors, as well as Fifteen (15) large scale garment and apparel manufacturers will benefit from the financial support provided by the Agency to aid them scale up their operations,” she said.
The Chief of Staff admonished all the master-craftsmen of the Garment and Apparel Module to demonstrate strong commitment by providing high quality training to all beneficiaries, urging them to provide top-notch, high quality technical skill transfer and acceptable business culture for all beneficiaries to emulate.